Lesner Bridge – Cabbage Patch Reef
In July, MAP Environmental consultant Andrew Pocta accompanied McLean Contracting Company (Contractors) on an important venture – hauling and placement of demolished Lesner Bridge material to an offshore artificial reef site in the Chesapeake Bay.
From earliest concept to current construction, our MAP team has played an integral role on the project since 2006 – over 10 years! Apart from being a signature bridge that will provide pedestrian features and a renovated look to the area, the project is also making a positive impact on the local environment. As part of its demolition, the old Lesner Bridge will be contributing to the on-going enhancement of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s Artificial Reef Program in the Chesapeake Bay.
One of the largest artificial reefs and recipient of the demolished bridge is Cabbage Patch – located 5.5 miles off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia. The goal of the enhancement is to further add to the natural fish habitat which, in turn, will increase the local fish population including many highly sought game species.
Since March 2017, McLean has been hauling the demolished bridge material, roughly every two weeks, to Cabbage Patch (and other local artificial reefs). The typical protocol employed by McLean involves the following: the barge leaves Lesner Bridge at 12:00am midnight, and makes its way to the artificial reef site for a full day (between 10-12 hours!) of unloading, before returning to Lesner Bridge around 12:00am midnight. That’s a full day! Up to the date of this blog post, McLean has already hauled roughly 10,000 tons of demolished bridge material to Cabbage Patch Reef. By the time the project is completed, McLean estimates another 10,000 tons will have been taken to the various artificial reefs!
The following video shows the impressive work done by McLean and the project team, most of which takes place while the average person is still sleeping!